Armchair Explorer

The Ocean Race: Sailing Around the World with Pro Sailor Mark Towill

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Episode notes

Follow professional sailor Mark Towill on The Ocean Race, the ultimate around-the-world sailing competition: nine months, and 45,000 nautical miles, through some of the toughest seas on the planet. Only the strongest sailors in the world are able to compete, and only for the glory. There is no prize money. The Ocean Race (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race) is the toughest team challenge in sailing, and arguably the most grueling competition in professional sports. But it's also one of the most beautiful. There is something nostalgic, even romantic, about the idea of sailing around the world powered by nothing but your wits and the wind. It harks back to the golden days of exploration. This is more than a race, this is a true adventure. Are you ready to sail around the world? Let's go.

- Hear Mark Towill's incredible story of the 2017/18 Ocean Race
- Find out what it feels like to sail around the whole world, powered by nothing but your wits and the wind
- Learn about life on board the fastest sailboats on the planet, and the mental toughness required to survive the grueling conditions
- Discover the adventure of the Southern Ocean, where Mark Towill experienced 65knot winds and seas of up to 30-feet tall
- Find out about the tragedy that occurred in the waters off of Hong Kong, and the disaster that happened rounding Cape Horn
- Hear about the early Polynesian explorers who inspired Mark Towill, who grew up in Hawai'i, and how he's now involved with helping to promote that culture and keep alive the traditional wayfinding of the early Polynesians.
- Be inspired by Mark Towill, and his team 11th Hour Racing's, message of raising awareness about ocean sustainability and the problem of ocean plastics

Benefits to You:
- See the ocean through new eyes and be inspired to embark on your own high seas adventure
- Learn how the mental toughness of round-the-world sailors can be applied to your own life in positive ways
- Be inspired by this story of overcoming tragedy and hardships in pursuit of excellence, and the greater good
- Be motivated to get involved with ocean sustainability and the fight to protect our oceans from plastic pollution

MARK TOWILL: Who's the Guest?
Mark grew up sailing on the eastern shores of Oahu, Hawaii before racing at both the prestigious Punahou School and Brown University Sailing Team, where he sailed with fellow team co-founder Charlie Enright.

In 2008 at the age of 18, Mark was selected to participate in the 44th Transpac Race aboard Morning Light where he first met Charlie. Mark was the youngest member on the team and the experience crystallized his ultimate goal of competing in the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, which he did in 2014-15 with Team Alvimedica. The duo put together a second campaign for 2017-18 with Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

Today, he is the CEO and co-skipper of 11th Hour Racing, whose goal is to win the 2021/22 Ocean Race whilst raising awareness and inspiring the sailing community and racing fans around the world with respect to environmental issues and ocean health.


Please visit the individual episode pages of the Armchair Explorer website to find out how you can do trips inspired by this journey: ... and how host/producer Aaron Millar can help you plan your ultimate adventure.

The Armchair Explorer: the world's greatest adventurers tell their best story from the road. Instagram/Twitter @AaronMWriter / Facebook: @armchairexplorerpodcast.

Host Aaron Millar is a multi-award-winning travel writer, journalist, presente